The Found Art, Collages and Treasures of Barbara Hodgson

Trading in Memories by Barbara Hodgson book cover

About the Book: Trading in Memories by Barbara Hodgson

In Trading in Memories, Barbara Hodgson takes readers around the world to the places that she knows best:

  • Flea markets in Paris and Brussels,
  • Antique shops in London’s Camden Passage,
  • Damascus, the desert oasis,
  • The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul,
  • and Aleppo, Naples, Rochefort, Aswan, Budapest, Shanghai and more.

In these varied cities Barbara Hodgson sets about in search of unwanted treasures and miscellaneous bric-a-brac that captures the essence of each locale. She travels down well-worn streets and alleyways, through immense ostentations cemeteries and tiny, obscure museums and into bookstores, antique shops and flea markets, wherever they may be.

“These places are where a city’s distinct personality can come to life, at times overwhelmingly so,” writes Hodgson.

“Always there is an odor: the dust and petrol of the street, cut-flower offerings of the graveyard, the mothballs of the antique store, and, at the markets, the stink of masses of bodies, mixing with–depending on the locale–red wine, coffee, hot dogs, or roasted chickens, for this is a hungry business. And everywhere there is noise–perhaps a hushed turning of pages or a muted discussion, more likely strident shouts, loud music, blaring horns.”

Barbara Hodgson's found art, collages and treasures are photographed and included in the book, along with maps, discarded tickets, letters and fabrics. Her hand-written notes and diagrams add the perfect amount of charm to this personal collection of souvenirs.

About Barbara Hodgson

barbara hodgson

Barbara Hodgson is a book designer with a degree in archeology and a diploma in graphic design. She began her career in book design by working for Douglas & McIntyre, moving from freelance designer to art director prior to taking on freelance work for other publishers and ultimately forming the book-packaging company Byzantium Books with Nick Bantock in 1993.

Designing books led to writing books: Hodgson is the author of No Place for a Lady, Dreaming of East, and Italy Out of Hand, all published by Greystone Books, and several other highly praised non-fiction books. She is also the author of four acclaimed illustrated novels Lives of Shadows, Hippolyte’s Island, The Sensualist, and The Tattooed Map.

Hodgson’s books are unique in that they combine her writing with a multitude of illustrations of various types drawn from a wide range of sources, including engravings, lithographs, photographs, stereo-cards, postcards, movie stills, and pulp magazine and novel covers. These days, the flea market is the consummate collector’s primary source of research and inspiration.

Barbara Hodgson lives in Vancouver.